Moles in Lawns
Have you ever noticed raised tunnels in your lawn or garden? Those tunnels could be caused by moles—small mammals with pointed snouts. While mole damage can frustrate gardeners, the damage is usually temporary, and moles can actually be beneficial.
You may see mole activity in your lawn, but they can also live underground in areas such as golf courses and parks. In addition to their hairless snouts, moles have powerful front teeth and fur that points up; both of these features make it easier for moles to navigate through soil.
Moles eat constantly, and they create tunnels as they search for food underground. Although moles may be a nuisance to some homeowners, they feed on pests that could harm plants, such as mole crickets and beetle larvae. Moles rarely eat plants and seeds, and this typically results in little damage. However, these animals may damage plants as they search for insects.
Although moles can help decrease pest populations and loosen soil, some people may not be able to tolerate the cosmetic damage moles do to landscapes. If you suspect mole activity you can try trapping them or reducing their food source (soil insects). Moles prefer to tunnel in damp soils, so reducing the intensity and frequency of water on your landscape may also help. However, homeowners should try to accept mole activity—if you see tunnels, simply press the soil back in place.
For more information on moles in your lawn or garden, please contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.
Adapted and excerpted from:
T. Friday, “Moles can be a hole lot of trouble,” UF/IFAS Extension Santa Rosa County (08/2006).
H. K. Ober and A. Kane, “How to Modify Habitat to Discourage Nuisance Wildlife in Your Yard” (WEC325),” UF/IFAS Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department (10/2012).
J. Parkhurst, “Managing Wildlife Damage: Moles,” Virginia Cooperative Extension (Accessed 02/2014).
“Controlling Moles in Lawngrasses,” UF/IFAS Extension Baker County (Accessed 02/2014).
“Moles,” UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions (Accessed 02/2014).
“Moles May Be Invading Your Lawn,” North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service – Watauga County Cooperative Extension (03/2011).